By now you’ve at least explored the concept of creating a website that shows your brand at its best, and forms the foundation of conducting commerce through cyberspace. And since the ultimate goal is to make your site viewed and read by as many people as possible, you’ll need to learn how to crack the code of becoming search engine optimized. The balancing act of utilizing search-optimized syntax and offering readable, relatable, and compelling verbiage can be a challenge. Ultimately, though, it can make or break your success as an ecommerce merchant.
Do you feel as if you can’t keep up with current best practices and trends influencing site engagement? You’re not alone. It’s not a simple task, but it needn’t be prohibitive. Thanks to generous experts, the web is rife with outstanding resources on every aspect of SEO for operations of all sizes.
Put yourself in the shoes of a prospective customer and spend some time evaluating what it is about online merchants you’ve shopped in the past. What was great about their presence? Their interface? What made you shy away from navigating around a particular entity’s page? These basic first-hand experiences can help you set up a presence that works for you.
Composing a website that looks spiffy and displays beautifully goes a long way toward gaining hits and, especially, the all-important engagement. But what your audience reads is arguably just as important in the long run. The key to using keywords is to make your visitor as unaware as possible of the way you have designed your content to work as both a hook and a personalized form of expression. It’s absolutely essential that visitors experience the same linguistic flow on your site that they expect when they read any other source material. Now that search engine ranking takes into account the readability of content, you can’t pack keyword after keyword in with the hopes of reaching more viewers. And put simply, you wouldn’t want to. The moral of this story? Generating content that flows, is easy to read, and that contains keywords that lead to hits is the new standard.
Beginning at the beginning, consider your headline. It should always be abbreviated, and yet describe your text in 50 to 60 characters, which is the limit of what search engines will track. Front-load keywords at every turn, without sacrificing engaging readability.
Following along, be sure to refresh and update your site as often as necessary. If users come to understand they will be treated to new content, they are more likely to be return visitors. Just as important is to review your existing older content, making sure it’s still current and relevant, and not in conflict with anything new you have added.
The missing link(s)
Adding internal links will boost the value of your site’s content. But be sure to make each link organic, with alternating focus keywords, or your content will be cannibalized. External links are also valuable in that they add interest and relevance. Overuse of external links to other sites will sabotage your site by sending traffic away, and risking the odds of sending audiences to a destination with a low trust rating – and this can hurt your ultimate ranking.
Other important considerations include metatags, or text invisible to the reader but coded to offer more specific information about your site. Add optimizing images to the mix, as they are also part of the SEO formula and are counted in rankings. And don’t forget the increasing value of social media in establishing a presence. Visibility is almost as important as using SEO tactics to maneuver users to your site.
No matter your experience level, there is always more to be learned when it comes to SEO usage. Here’s a great primer for beginners that helps you understand the philosophy behind SEO, and how to make it work for you. And those with some mileage under their belt will find more advanced tips in this tutorial.
Think of your website as your permanent marketing plan as well as your storefront operation. With shoppers gravitating toward online buying at record levels, you’ll want to be sure you’re prepared to serve their needs.